Scottish Premiership
Hearts2St Johnstone2

Heart of Midlothian 2-2 St Johnstone

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Highlights: Hearts 2-2 St Johnstone

St Johnstone extended their unbeaten streak against Hearts to six games as they held the hosts to a draw at Tynecastle.

Prince Buaben headed the capital side into a first-half lead but a classy finish from Danny Swanson brought Saints level before half-time.

Substitute Chris Kane prodded home a David Wotherspoon cross with five minutes left to put the visitors ahead.

But Callum Paterson headed home Don Cowie's corner to snatch a point.

Hearts move above Rangers - who face Ross County on Sunday - into third on goal difference, with Saints remaining fifth, level on points with the two teams immediately above them.

Prince of confusion

Both sides went into this one on the back of some ropey form; Hearts had conceded five goals in their last two, winless, games, and St Johnstone had just one victory in their last four. Recent history was interesting. Saints had three wins and two draws in their last five meetings with Robbie Neilson's side.

They were under pressure from early on, though. Hearts had more possession and more chances but it wasn't until Buaben scored midway through the half that they gained the lead. And it was odd.

Prince Buaben heads home the opener for Hearts
Prince Buaben's header was his first goal of the season for Hearts

A shot from Don Cowie came back off the crossbar to Buaben who sent his close-range header goal-bound until it appeared to be pawed away by a St Johnstone hand.

It was questionable that the ball had crossed the line, but then had it not, we'd be talking about a penalty and a red card. The goal was given instead and Tynecastle came alive.

Swanson's class

Not long after his goal, Buaben tested Zander Clark in the Saints goal and in these moments Hearts were comfortable. They were hit with a sucker punch and a lot of class when Swanson got on the ball.

Steven MacLean sent Swanson through one-on-one with John Souttar and there was no contest there. Swanson turned inside the centre-half, then placed a gorgeous shot past Jack Hamilton for his 10th goal of the season and his third of the campaign against Hearts.

Swanson is already two thirds of the way towards matching Saints' leading scorer from last season, MacLean.

A chance to win it

In the early minutes of the second half there were big moments at both ends. David Wotherspoon forced a save from Hamilton, then Wotherspoon rattled the inside of Hamilton's post with a beautiful free-kick. The breaking ball fell to Joe Shaughnessy, who tapped it home, but he was offside.

Hearts had a big opportunity of their own minutes later when Bjorn Johnsen's shot from close in was brilliantly blocked by Steven Anderson. The defender's awareness of the danger around him saved Saints.

Callum Paterson heads home Hearts' late equaliser
Callum Paterson showed his threat from set-pieces again with a late equaliser

The game had become a tight battle between two sides who looked for a while like they didn't have sufficient creativity to score again. They did. Both of them.

Saints surely thought they had won it when Wotherspoon, who got better as the day went on, found Kane, who passed his shot beyond Hamilton. Hearts complained bitterly about the goal, claiming an offside, but they wasted their breath.

Five minutes remained, but the home team dug in and Paterson got them the point they undoubtedly deserved when heading home from a corner with two minutes left.

It was the Scotland full-back's fifth goal of the season. For him, next stop Wembley.

Post-match reaction:

Hearts boss Robbie Neilson: "It was a really tough game. We knew St Johnstone would make it difficult and it would be a very combative game and it turned out that way.

"We managed to get ourselves in front then gave away a poor goal and then there was an offside goal for St Johnstone and they take the lead. But we managed to fight back and show our quality and equalise.

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Hearts & Saints praised after 2-2 draw

"We are disappointed not to take the three points but the manner in which we fought back was really pleasing."

Saints boss Tommy Wright: "It maybe lacked quality at times but I think it was end to end and entertaining and I think we picked up a very good point.

"I've seen the first Hearts goal back and one thing I'll say is the referee's assistant has got a clear view of it, as in a really good position. Brian Easton doesn't think it's over, but the angle I've got on the video doesn't clear it up for me.

"For the disallowed goal the referee's assistant seems to think Joe Shaughnessy was a couple of yards offside, but I have seen that back and he looks level to me. So I think we maybe got the wrong end of the stick."

Line-ups

Hearts

  • 1Hamilton
  • 2Paterson
  • 14Souttar
  • 4RossiBooked at 77mins
  • 24Smith
  • 15Cowie
  • 6Kitchen
  • 8BuabenBooked at 61minsSubstituted forSutchuin-Djoumat 62'minutes
  • 7Walker
  • 20JohnsenSubstituted forSammonat 84'minutes
  • 32WattSubstituted forMuirheadat 78'minutesBooked at 89mins

Substitutes

  • 3Rherras
  • 5Ozturk
  • 10Sutchuin-Djoum
  • 13Noring
  • 18Sammon
  • 23Muirhead
  • 30Currie

St Johnstone

  • 12Clark
  • 19Foster
  • 6Anderson
  • 14Shaughnessy
  • 24EastonBooked at 90mins
  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 18Paton
  • 4AlstonBooked at 7mins
  • 11SwansonSubstituted forKaneat 81'minutes
  • 9MacLean
  • 7MillarSubstituted forCraigat 26'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Mannus
  • 3Scobbie
  • 17Coulson
  • 23Gordon
  • 25Kane
  • 26Craig
  • 29Cummins
Referee:
Don Robertson
Attendance:
16,421

Match Stats

Home TeamHeartsAway TeamSt Johnstone
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home9
Away9
Shots on Target
Home5
Away5
Corners
Home6
Away4
Fouls
Home16
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Heart of Midlothian 2, St. Johnstone 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Heart of Midlothian 2, St. Johnstone 2.

Booking

Brian Easton (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Jamie Walker (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Brian Easton (St. Johnstone).

Foul by Conor Sammon (Heart of Midlothian).

Steven Anderson (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Callum Paterson (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Booking

Robbie Muirhead (Heart of Midlothian) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Goal!

Goal! Heart of Midlothian 2, St. Johnstone 2. Callum Paterson (Heart of Midlothian) header from very close range to the top left corner.

Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Paul Paton.

Goal!

Goal! Heart of Midlothian 1, St. Johnstone 2. Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by David Wotherspoon.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Igor Rossi.

Foul by Don Cowie (Heart of Midlothian).

David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Conor Sammon replaces Bjorn Johnsen.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Christopher Kane replaces Danny Swanson.

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Robbie Muirhead replaces Tony Watt.

Booking

Igor Rossi (Heart of Midlothian) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Igor Rossi (Heart of Midlothian).

Blair Alston (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Jamie Walker (Heart of Midlothian).

Paul Paton (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Brian Easton (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the left.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Liam Smith.

Bjorn Johnsen (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Brian Easton (St. Johnstone).

Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Igor Rossi (Heart of Midlothian).

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Arnaud Djoum replaces Prince Buaben.

Booking

Prince Buaben (Heart of Midlothian) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Prince Buaben (Heart of Midlothian).

Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Tony Watt (Heart of Midlothian).

Blair Alston (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Liam Smith (Heart of Midlothian).

Blair Alston (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Steven Anderson.

Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Steven Anderson.

David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) hits the bar with a right footed shot from outside the box from a direct free kick.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic1110103482631
2Aberdeen126331911821
3Hearts125432114719
4Rangers115421512319
5St Johnstone135441715219
6Inverness CT133551924-514
7Kilmarnock133551223-1114
8Partick Thistle123451517-213
9Hamilton122641216-412
10Motherwell123361520-512
11Dundee133371218-612
12Ross County12246922-1310
View full Scottish Premiership table

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